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Today's News

  • Local Briefs 4-21-15

    Teacher, staff member of year nominations sought

    Los Alamos Public Schools is currently accepting nominations for its 2014-15 Teacher of the Year and Classified Staff Person of the year.
    The deadline for nominations are May 8. Nomination forms are available at each public school site, the assistant superintendent’s office and online at the LAPS website, laschools dot net.

    Quorums may be present for opening

    Los Alamos County announced a number of possible quorums for Wednesday’s opening of the Los Alamos Nature Center.
    Members of several boards, including the Environmental Sustainability, Lodgers’ Tax Advisory board, White Rock Master Plan board, may be present at Wednesday’s opening, which is scheduled for 2 p.m.
    The county said none of the boards are planning to take action at the event.

    ‘Mr. Fish’ is restocking pond

    Los Alamos County announced that its contractor to provide fish in Ashley Pond, was scheduled to do so today.
    The county said Ashley Pond’s water levels are currently low due to another contractor working on one of the pond’s intake valves from the pond to the irrigation system. The contractor is expected to start refilling the pond again Wednesday.

  • Update 4-21-15

    Earth Day

    There will be an Earth Day Festival Saturday at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Games, activities and entertainment are planned for the event. The festival will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

    Authors Speak

    Stan Crawford will be the guest speaker at the Authors Speak Series April 23 at Mesa Public Library. Crawford is the author of “Petroleum Man,” “Mayordomo” and other works of fiction and nonfiction. The talk will be at the Mesa Public Library at 7 p.m.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will hold a board meeting and work session Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock.

    APP board

    The Arts In Public Places Board will meet at the municipal building Thursday. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.

    Church concert

    Christian rock group 7eventh Time Down and special guests Ryan Stevenson and Shiloh will perform at the White Rock Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 672-9764.

  • Next 'Independence Day' starts shooting on May 4

    Today, New Mexico Film Office announced that principal photography is scheduled to begin next month for the sequel to “Independence Day.”
    “Independence Day,” which was released in 1996, was among the highest-grossing films of the 1990s.
    Director Roland Emmerich, who helmed the original film, is set to return for the sequel.
    “I’m beyond excited to bring the sequel to ‘Independence Day’ to New Mexico,” said Emmerich in a press release announcing the return. “With their state of the art Albuquerque Studios, the robust tax incentive program, the proximity to Los Angeles and last but not least its talented cast and crew make New Mexico a great fit for my movie.”
    The new installment will bring back original actors from the first film, including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner.
    It will star Liam Hemsworth (“Hunger Games”) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Nymphomaniac”).
    The sequel is scheduled to be released by Twentieth Century Fox in June 2016.

  • AARP names LA one of best places

    Los Alamos was again on the top of the charts for best places to live.
    The American Association of Retired Persons recently named Los Alamos as one of the top 10 places in the country in terms of livability.
    The AARP story appeared in the May edition of the AARP’s magazine. The AARP compared more than 200,000 communities in the country.
    Also, Los Alamos was named the top place to live in New Mexico by the Movoto.com website. Movoto is a national real estate website.
    Los Alamos beat out Farmington and the North Valley community of Albuquerque for that top spot.
    The top rankings were nothing new. Los Alamos has consistently been named among the top places to live both in the state and nationally. Among recent honors, Los Alamos was named a top place by Livability.com and even White Rock earned such a distinction in 2012 by Coldwell Bankers among the best suburbs.
    For the AARP study, Los Alamos was named 10th-best place in the nation. Madison, Wis., was the top place to live in that study, joined by neighborhoods in Manhattan and Boston.

  • Trespasser at the library arrested

    Approximately an hour and a half after Mesa Public Library closed for the evening April 11, police responded to a burglary alarm inside the building.
    According to Los Alamos Police Department reports, when police entered they found a pair of pants, wallet with no ID inside, and sunglasses. The owner of the pants was nowhere to be found, however.
    Police then noticed other evidence that someone may be still inside the building and so continued their search. They came across a door to a room blocked with a chair.
    When police managed to budge the door ajar, they noticed someone’s feet propped up against a wall inside the room.
    With guns drawn, police ordered the suspect, 47-year-old Trevor Orr, to open the door. He didn’t immediately comply, but instead turned away from the officers to put a key into the burglary alarm system in an attempt to shut it off.
    Then Orr allegedly turned away from the officers and started to run. Noting he wasn’t armed, an officer giving chase put his gun away and instead drew his stun gun and continued the chase.
    Orr, according to the report, then realized officers were closing and so fell to the ground and surrendered after a slight struggle, as the suspect wouldn’t at first allow himself to be handcuffed.

  • Henderson limits discussion

    Los Alamos County Council Chair Kristin Henderson began the first of four nights of budget hearings on Monday with a decision to limit public comment to the end of the meeting.
    Henderson directed that public comment at the beginning of the meeting could only be on topics not on the agenda.
    Councilor Pete Sheehey pointed out that traditionally during budget hearings, public comment on the budget is allowed at the beginning and end of the meeting.
    Monday’s agenda stated that “the first and last 30 minutes of each of the meetings will be reserved for public comment on any portion of the proposed budget. Note: The public hearing times overlap with the budget presentation and discussion times. During this overlap time, public comment will be the primary activity. After all public comment has been received, if time remains, other budget topics may be discussed.”
    Henderson responded that she would allow public comment on the budget “as part of the budget hearing.”
    When council took a break at 8:30 p.m., no public comment had yet been allowed. Upon return, Sheehey addressed the chair, stating that a constituent had asked when public comment would be allowed.

  • Budget cuts, tax hikes discussed

    During the first of four nights of budget hearings, Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess and Deputy County Manager/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne presented the county council with an overview of significant items in the proposed budget.
    The proposed FY2016 budget calls for $191,827,341 in expenditures, a one-percent reduction over last year’s General Fund budget. It also calls for reinstatement of 2.25 mills in property taxes, which would net $1.5 million in additional revenues.
    Burgess drew council’s attention to several key elements of the proposed budget before giving an overview of various departmental budgets.
    Several areas require increased expenditures in FY2016. Those include an increase in the county’s share of Fire Cooperative Agreement costs, higher insurance costs and electric rates and an estimated three-percent rise in inflation.
    New operating costs for the golf course community center, the nature center — which opens Wednesday — and the teen center scheduled to open later this year must also be factored in.
    The budget includes a three-percent increase for staffing and salary needs. The bulk of that increase is for implementation of a revised salary plan, which will require salary adjustments for some of the county’s employees.

  • The inherent defectiveness of public school system

    The Feb. 15 Washington Post reported that an outgoing superintendent of public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, Joshua P. Starr, is lamenting the short tenure of school superintendents.
    Starr took the job of school superintendent in 2011 and is now leaving because he failed to garner the support of the local school board.
    Unfortunately, all too many believers in public schools just don’t get it: it doesn’t matter whom they get to be superintendent and it doesn’t matter what reforms they adopt. The problem with public schooling is public schooling. It is an inherently defective system.
    That means it cannot be fixed and it cannot be reformed. In fact, oftentimes when a system is inherently defective, reforms only make the situation worse.
    Public schooling is inherently defective because it is a socialist system, which itself is an inherently defective paradigm. It always produces a shoddy product no matter who is in charge of the system and no matter what reforms are brought to the system.
    The only solution to socialism is to dismantle it, which means the free market, which is the only system that works. It produces the best possible product.

  • New exec could make ACI relevant

    The impending departure of the staff chief at the Association of Commerce and Industry offers opportunity to ACI and the state.
    New blood and new people are needed. The older baby boomers need to step aside.
    But for whom? That is the troubling question. After all, how are we going to create the enormous changes we need in our state without new ideas and probably very different ideas?
    If the task is going to fall to an organization, the Association of Commerce and Industry, by definition of its name if nothing else, is the statewide organization. The name is not linked to geography, a business segment or any people demographics.
    Any claims otherwise notwithstanding, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is only Albuquerque and not all of Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce has carved a role. NAIOP takes a broad view, but is an organization of commercial real estate developers.
    ACI offers a unique capability of creating a statewide dialogue about the New Mexico situation and dilemma.
    OK, how? A number of people close to ACI provided background for this column. None are executive committee members.
    ACI is “member driven,” it says.
    Not exactly. In professional organizations, the person with the hands on the wheel, the person really driving, is the staff director.

  • Isotopes split series with Reno

    The Albuquerque Isotopes (7-5) fell 6-2 in the series finale to the Reno Aces (6-6) Monday night at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev, but managed to earn a split in their first road series of the season.

    DECIDING MOMENT: The Isotopes jumped out to quick one-run lead in the first thanks to an RBI double by Ben Paulsen, but it didn’t take the Aces long to make up the deficit. In the bottom of the first, a leadoff double was followed by a walk, an RBI and a three-run home run to put Reno up 4-1 after just one frame. The Aces tacked on one more run in the second and never looked back.

    ADAMES SWINGING HOT STICK: Cristhian Adames continued swinging a hot stick with a 3-for-4 game Monday night. He also drew a walk. So far this season, Adames is batting .354 (17-for-48) with six runs scored, four doubles, five RBI and five walks. He has turned in at least two hits in six of his last seven outings, including multi-hit performances in the last three-straight games. Adames’ six multi-hit games lead all Isotopes.